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Discuss Intellivision, Atari, Colecovision, Nintendo, and More! » The Classic Gaming Section » The Classic Gaming Forum » Game Pricing

Game Pricing

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1 Game Pricing on Sun 28 Jul 2013, 9:46 pm

sloan

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one thing that occurs to me often when shopping for older video games is that the prices are generally incredibly cheap when inflation is factored in. I have griped here and on other forums about paying $60 for a homebrew game, but consider this: BITD, 2600 and INTV games regularly sold for $40 a piece. In today's dollars, that is in the $150-$160 range Shocked  Now, you are asking, "Where do you get those numbers from"?

Here's the math breakdown: Like it or not, our modern economic system left the gold standard long ago and is now based on the petroleum standard. Just watch how much people gripe when gasoline prices jump $.20 a gallon if you need proof. Having said that, consider gasoline prices in the early 1980's compared to now. Even with the Jimmy Carter gas lines of the late 1970's, gas prices may have reached $1.00 a gallon and people freaked (and rightfully so I might add). The Ron Reagan years saw gas prices generally in the $.80-$1.10 range. These were the years when 2600 and INTV games were selling for $40 (and sometimes more) each. Fast forward to 2013 and we regularly pay close (if not higher than) to $4.00 per gallon for gasoline. Considering that this is approximately 4x the going rate in the early 1980's, divide the $60 for a homebrew by 4 and we are essentially paying $15 in early 1980's dollars.

Now, I admit that is business mathematics, and does not always automatically apply, but it does give us somewhat of a measuring stick. That said, I will continue to loathe paying what I consider higher prices for classic and even homebrew games. Maybe because mostly I am a cheapskate at heart Laughing 

2 Re: Game Pricing on Tue 30 Jul 2013, 1:48 am

onthinice

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I understand that games cost money to develop.

For years when talking about CD games, magazines said that it would be a cheaper product to release. Sega CD games came and they were the same price or more then Genesis carts. Same for Sony's Playstation.

Over time, CD games did tend to drop faster in price then carts, thanks to PS one's Greatest Hits. Same for DVD games. Start out high and some eventually drop in price.

Looking at the big picture now: bread, eggs and milk are more expensive then back in the early eighties. Also the electricity to run the video game systems and televisions. As you said Sloan, gas is higher. For gamers like me who travel 20 or more miles to a store, that eats into my game budget and what games I can buy.

Used to buy games for myself and now I must share with my kids. I bought the Minecraft disc for Xbox 360 for $19.99. I do not understand the game, but the kids enjoy it. Guess it was money well spent.

Finding out that games that interest me, do not interest the rest of the family. That factors into what purchases are made.

I can't live forever and fear wasting money on games that may one day be thrown away when I am gone.

Plus all the systems released over the years, has left me with more games to play then one lifetime will allow.

3 Re: Game Pricing on Tue 30 Jul 2013, 11:49 pm

Rev

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Very interesting analogy. So true.

50 to 60 is not a bad price for a new old game!


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4 Re: Game Pricing on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 8:04 pm

sloan

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revolutionika wrote:Very interesting analogy. So true.

50 to 60 is not a bad price for a new old game!

The only economic factor I did not mention is gross income. Even though gasoline is nearly 4x the price of the early 80's average gross income for consumers has not kept pace. This is at least partially why the $60 price tag is not so palatable. Devaluation of the once-mighty dollar on world markets has hurt us more than most realize.

5 Re: Game Pricing on Sat 10 Aug 2013, 9:53 am

onthinice

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Good point, Sloan! With so many jobs leaving the country. It has forced many people to either take lesser paying jobs or go back to school to try for a higher paying job. Of course, going back to school also limits your gaming funds.

I remember 25 cent candy bars. Gasoline in the 70 cent range. Bread for under a dollar a loaf. Milk under two dollars.

I have been discussing with a friend recently, about stagflation and deflation.
Neither seems like a good outcome.

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